Chapter 76: Nightfall—Part One
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
(Reminder: Please do not post spoilers! Your comments will be deleted if it contains one. )
Inside of the largest Treasure Pavilion in Lanling City.
Within the well-arranged shelves of treasure rested countless pieces of spiritual jade and weapons of high quality. Many cultivators were choosing among the rows, comparing the pricing and craftsmanship of each. Those with the spare time would come chat for a while.
One of them asked, “Chief Cultivator? Seems like the big sects have been arguing over this for the past while. Have they come to a conclusion yet?”
“What is there to argue about? We can’t be a heap of loose sand, a group without a leader forever, can we? To set a cultivator who watches over all of the sects—I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
“It’s not that good, is it? What if another QishanWen Sect…”
“How could that be the same? The Chief Cultivator is elected by all the sects. They’re different, they’re different.”
“Hah, they say it’s an election, but everyone knows in their hearts. No matter what, it’s the same few people who’s competing, isn’t it? Is there any space for others?”
“ChiFeng-Zun is quite against it, isn’t he? He’s tried to stop Jin GuangShan so many times, implied or otherwise. In my opinion, there’s still a long time before they finish mulling over it.”
“And there can be only one person who sits in the position of Chief Cultivator. If it really passed, whom exactly the person should be would take another few years of arguing over, I suppose.”
“It’s the worry of those who sit at the top, anyways. None of our business. It’s not like little shrimps like us could have any control over it even if we wanted to.”
Someone suddenly changed the subject, “Did any of you attend the completion ceremony of the Cloud Recesses’ Library Pavilion? Well, I went. I stood there and looked, and it was the exact same as how it was before. A difficult undertaking indeed.”
“Yeah, very difficult. It was such a huge cultivational residence, an ethereal realm of hundreds of years old—how could it be rebuilt in a short amount of time?”
“Speaking of it, there’s been a lot of joyous occasions these days, hasn’t there?”
“You mean the seventh-day celebration of Jin ZiXuan’s son? There’s a whole pile of colorful things, and the kid didn’t like any of them. Cried so hard that the roof of Glamor Hall was almost screamed off. How amusing that he giggles like that whenever he sees his dad’s Suihua. His parents were so happy. They all said he’s going to be a wonderful swordsman when he grows up.”
Not far away, a person in white was holding a jade tassel pendant in his hand, examining it carefully. Hearing this, he smiled.
The voice of a female cultivator came over, “Madam Jin is so lucky… She must’ve given up on rising into immortality in her last life that she gained such good fortune in this life.”
Her companion replied, “Looks like it’s true that no matter what you’re good at, it’s all fine as long as you have a good background. She’s clearly just so-so…”
The person in white frowned slightly. Fortunately, the somewhat sour comment was quickly overcome by a louder voice, “The LanlingJin Sect really does deserve its reputation. Even a baby who’s just been born a few days gets such a grand display.”
“Don’t you remember whom the baby’s parents are? Could they really be sloppy over it? It was not only that Young Madam Jin’s husband refuses to be sloppy. If the display was just a tad bit smaller, her mother-in-law, her younger brother—which of the two would’ve allowed it? In the full-month celebration a few days later, it could only be even more extravagant.”
“Speaking of it, have you heard of how it’s said that to this full-month celebration… a certain somebody was invited?”
“Who is it?”
A momentary silence suddenly fell upon the Treasure Pavilion.
Someone exclaimed, “Really… I thought that was only rumor. Was he really invited?!”
“Yes! It was confirmed in the past couple of days. Wei WuXian will be going.”
Someone else aired their shock, “Just what did the LanlingJin Sect think it was doing? Have they forgotten about the number of innocent people Wei WuXian killed in Qiongqi Path?”
“Who’d dare go to Jin Ling’s full-month celebration now that such a person is invited? Anyways, I definitely won’t go no matter what.”
After this, quite many of the crowd secretly mocked, You aren’t even qualified enough to be invited, and now you’re worried about going or not?
The person in white raised his brows. After he had chosen, he walked out of the Treasure Pavilion.
A few strides later, he walked into a small alleyway. A black-clothed figure appeared, “Young Master, are you done with the purchase?”
Wei WuXian tossed to him the delicate sandalwood box that he was holding. Wen Ning caught it and opened it to see a tassel pendant that hung a piece of white jade. The jade was translucent. In it, soft light flowed as though it was alive.
He beamed, “It’s so pretty!”
Wei WuXian, “The pretty little thing wasn’t cheap at all. Your sister’s money almost wasn’t enough for buying this after a new outfit. I don’t have a single coin left anyways. I’ll just wait for the scolding when we get back.”
Wen Ning hurried, “No, no. Young Master is buying a present for Maiden Jiang’s child. Sister won’t scold you.”
Wei WuXian, “Mark your words. When she scolds me, remember to help out a bit.”
Wen Ning nodded before adding, “Young Master Jin Ling would definitely like this gift a lot.”
However, Wei WuXian replied, “It’s not like this is the present I’m giving him. It’s only a small accessory. Those things in the Treasure Pavilion—what do they have except for looks?”
Wen Ning paused in surprise, “Then Young Master, what gift did you prepare?”
Wei WuXian, “The will of the Heavens shall not be grasped by mortals.”
Wen Ning, “Oh.”
He really did stop asking. However, after holding it in for a while, Wei WuXian couldn’t take it any longer himself, “Wen Ning, shouldn’t you keep on asking with utmost curiosity and persistence? How could you really stop asking after just an ‘oh’? Don’t you want to know what the present is???”
Wen Ning stared at him blankly. He finally realized, “… I do! Young Master! What gift did you prepare?”
Wei WuXian finally took out small wooden box from inside of his sleeve. He shook it in front of Wen Ning and smiled. Wen Ning took it over and opened it before exclaiming, “What an impressive bell!”
The ‘impressive’ didn’t refer to the intricacy of its craftsmanship, although the purity of its silver and the strikingly vivid nine-petaled lotus carved onto its body could almost be considered the peak of perfection in their craft. What made Wen Ning exclaim, however, was the amount of power held inside of such a small bell.
Wen Ning, “Young Master, is this what you’ve been making for the past month or so, when you were shutting yourself in the Cave on days upon end?”
Wei WuXian, “That’s right. As long as that nephew of mine carries this bell around, not a single creature whose level is just a bit too low can even think about getting close to him. You can’t touch it. It’ll probably leave you affected for some time as well if you do.”
Wen Ning nodded, “I can feel it.”
Wei WuXian took the tassel pendant and hung it to the silver bell. The two, when put together, looked extremely pleasing to the eye. He was quite satisfied with it.
Wen Ning, “But, since you’ll be attending Young Master Jin Ling’s full month celebration, Young Master, you have to hold it back when you see Maiden Jiang’s husband. Don’t clash with him…”
Wei WuXian waved his hand, “You can relax about this. I know what to do and not do. For the sake of Jin ZiXuan having invited me, I won’t badmouth him for the entire year.”
Wen Ning scratched his head, embarrassed, “Last time, when Young Master Jin told people to present you with the invitation at the bottom of Burial Mound, I thought that it had to be a trap. And then it happened to be a misunderstanding. It really was unfair to him. I couldn’t tell before, but in reality, Young Master Jin is a nice person as well…”
At noon, the two passed Qiongqi Path on their way.
After its re-establishment, it had been a long time since Qiongqi Path was renamed. Wei WuXian didn’t know what it was called right now either. It seemed that others couldn’t remember either, and so most of the time it was still called the Qiongqi Path. At first, neither of the two noticed anything different. But when they reached the middle of the valley, Wei WuXian begin to feel that something was not quite right.
There shouldn’t be so few passerbys.
Wei WuXian, “Is anything wrong?”
Wen Ning rolled out his eye whites. A moment later, he let down his pupils again, “No. It’s so quiet.”
Wei WuXian, “It really is a bit too quiet.”
He couldn’t even catch a single sliver of the inhuman noises that he had always been able to hear.
Wei WuXian was instantly alarmed, whispering, “Let’s go!”
Just as he turned around, Wen Ning raised his hand to catch something.
It was a fletched arrow that came right for the middle of Wei WuXian’s chest!
Wei WuXian abruptly looked up. Many people emerged from countless hiding corners on both sides of the valley. There were over three hundred of them. Most wore robes of Sparks Amidst Snow, although some wore other uniforms as well. All of them carried bows on their backs and swords at their waists, clad in armor and full of vigilance. With the mountains and other people as defense, the tips of all swords and arrows were pointed at him. The fletched arrow that was the first to come at Wei WuXian was shot by the one leading the crowd. The man had a large build and darkish skin. His handsome features seemed somewhat familiar.
Wei WuXian, “Who are you?”
The man was originally going to give a few words, having shot the arrow. However, with such a question, he forgot about all that at once, fuming, “You dare to ask who I am? I am Jin ZiXun!”
Wei WuXian immediately remembered. This was Jin ZiXuan’s cousin. He’d seen him a couple of times before.
His heart had been sinking for a long time. In the beginning, it was filled with the joy of being on his way to attend the full-month celebration of Jiang YanLi’s son. But right now, all of the joy dissipated, clouded over by a shadow. Still, though, he refused to think about it too much, unwilling to take a guess at why these people made an ambush here.
Jin ZiXun raised his voice, “Wei WuXian, I’m warning you—lift the evil curse that you put on me right now, and I can pretend like nothing happened and let you off the hook.”
Wei WuXian paused in surprise. Even though he knew it’d be taken as denial, he still had to clear things up, “What curse?”
As he expected, Jin ZiXun thought that he was asking even though he knew, “You’re still pretending like you don’t know anything?” He tore his lapels open, roaring, “Fine. I’ll let you see just what an evil curse it is!”
Jin ZiXun’s chest was covered entirely in holes of all sizes!
The smaller holes were the size of sesame seeds, while the larger ones were as large as soybeans. They were spread out on his body evenly, in a hair-rising sort of way.
Wei WuXian only took one glance at him, “Hundred Holes?”
Jin ZiXun, “That’s right! Hundred Holes indeed!”
‘Hundred Holes’ was a curse of utmost brutality.
Back when Wei WuXian explored the GusuLan Sect’s Library Pavilion when he should be copying scriptures, he once discovered an ancient book. At the part where this type of curse was explained, an illustration was added to the text. The person on the page was quite calm, as if he felt no pain, but many coin-sized holes had already grown on his body.
At first, the victim of the curse would feel nothing. At most, they’d think that their pores had become rougher. However, soon later, the holes would become the size of sesame seeds. The longer it went on, the larger and greater in number the holes would be. It’d proceed until their entire body was covered in holes of all sizes, almost like a grotesque human sieve. On top of that, after the surface of the skin was covered in holes, the curse would begin to extend toward the internal organs. It could either be a ceaseless stomachache, or the rotting of all the organs!
With Jin ZiXun having fallen victim to a curse so repulsive yet so hard to remove, Wei WuXian momentarily felt almost sympathetic toward him. However, even if he was sympathetic, he still thought that Jin ZiXun probably didn’t have a proper brain, “You were cursed with Hundred Holes, but why would you come block my path? What’s it got to do with me?”
Jin ZiXun glanced at his chest as if he himself felt disgusted as well. He folded his lapels back, “Apart from a criminal who’s as used to using crooked means as you, who else could put such a savage thing on me?”
Wei WuXian thought to himself that there were indeed many who’d do so. Might it be that Jin ZiXun actually thought he was popular with others?
But he didn’t want to say it straight out and provoke Jin ZiXun, worsening the situation, “Jin ZiXun, I don’t use such underhanded tricks. If I want to kill someone, I’d let everyone know that this person died in my hands. And, if I really wanted you to die, you’d be a thousand times worse than how you are right now.”
Jin ZiXun, “You’ve always been quite arrogant, haven’t you? And now you’re not bold enough to admit what you did?”
Wei WuXian, “I’m not the one who did it; why should I admit it?”
Killing intent flashed within Jin ZiXun’s eyes, “Courtesy before force—if you don’t take this chance to turn around, I won’t be letting you off easy either!”
Wei WuXian paused in his steps, “Oh, really?”
What was meant by ‘letting him off easy’ was really quite clear.
There were two ways to lift the curse of Hundred Holes. Apart from having the one who placed the curse cut down their own cultivation and lifted the curse on their own, there was one most absolute method:
To kill the one who placed the curse!
Wei WuXian scorned, “Not let me off easy? You? With just the couple hundreds of people you’ve got?”
Jin ZiXun waved his arm. All of the disciples placed their arrows on their bows, aiming at Wei WuXian and Wen Ning who were at the bottom of the valley. Wei WuXian lifted Chenqing to his lips as well. The shrill note of the flute ripped apart the silence of the valley.
However, a moment later, no reply had come. Jin ZiXun, “We cleaned the entire area out a long time ago, waiting for you to come. You won’t get any helpers no matter how much you play. This is the burial ground that we’ve prepared just for you!”
Wei WuXian laughed coldly, “You’re seeking your own death!”
As he finished, Wen Ning raised his hand and tore off the red string that hung a talisman at his neck.
After the string snapped, his body wavered, and the muscles on his face began to twist. Marks that resembled black cracks crawled up his neck to his cheeks. He suddenly lifted his head, letting out a long, inhuman roar!
Many cultivators adept at night-hunting were present among the three hundred people participating in the ambush. None of them had ever encountered a fierce corpse who could make such a terrifying noise. They all felt their knees buckle. Jin ZiXun could feel his scalp tingle as well. He raised his arm and ordered, “Release!”
The arrows rained down!
Wen Ning broke apart a boulder with his bare hands and lifted it high up in the air, blocking as many arrows as he could. After the rain of arrows had ended, around a hundred cultivators leaped down the walls and charged at the two standing in the terrain. Wei WuXian walked back a few steps. With a sidestep, he dodged the sneak attack of a sword blade.
While Wen Ning was dealing with the hundred people, Jin ZiXun used the chance to attack. Seeing that Wei WuXian didn’t carry a sword and only carried a flute that was temporarily useless, he laughed, “This is the price you’ll pay for your arrogance. Without a sword, let’s see how you resist.”
With a flick of his hand, Wei WuXian sent out a row of talismans burning in green flames, diminishing Jin ZiXun’s sword glare as they collided. With such an attack right after he laughed, Jin ZiXun immediately focused on the fight. The two had been fighting for some time when something suddenly flew out of Wei WuXian’s sleeve. His gaze froze as he realized what had happened.
It was the present that he prepared for Jin Ling. Since he cared about it too much, scared that he’d accidentally break it while at the same time wanting to take it out and admire it from time to time, he only placed it shallowly inside of his sleeve. During the fight now, however, it accidentally slipped out, flying toward Jin ZiXun. Jin ZiXun thought that it was something along the lines of a hidden weapon or some obscure poison. He was going to dodge when he saw the change in expression on Wei WuXian’s face. Changing his mind, he caught it at once. It was a delicate little wooden box with a row of small characters carved on it—Jin Ling’s name and date of his birth. Jin ZiXun paused in surprise before he came to a realization, laughing loudly.
Wei WuXian’s face darkened, speaking one word at a time, “Give it back.”
Jin ZiXun raised the wooden box, mocking, “A present for A-Ling?”
Wen Ning was standing not far away in the distance. Alone worth more than a hundred soldiers, he battled amid the chaos. Jin ZiXun, “You didn’t really think that you could attend A-Ling’s full-month celebration, did you?”
The sentence made Wei WuXian’s hands tremble slightly.
At this point, a voice shouted, “Stop!”
A white-clothed figure leaped down the valley lightly, blocking between Wei WuXian and Jin ZiXun. Seeing who had come, Jin ZiXun exclaimed, “ZiXuan? Why are you here?!”
Jin ZiXuan placed one hand on the hilt of his sword, enraged, “Why do you think I’m here?!”
Jin ZiXun, “Where’s A-Yao?”
Jin ZiXuan was the helper who was supposed to be here to assist him. Just last year, he still held much contempt toward Jin GuangYao. Now that the two’s relationship had become better, however, he began to call him in a more intimate manner. Jin ZiXuan, “I stopped him at Koi Tower. If not for how I exposed him after I saw that he looked strange, you two are just going to continue with this? Why didn’t you tell me at all that you were cursed with Hundred Holes and instead came to do this without saying anything?!”
The fact that Jin ZiXun had been cursed with Hundred Holes was indeed an unspeakable matter. First of all, he had both a good appearance and a good physique. He’d always thought of himself as handsome and couldn’t bear for others to know that he was under such an unsightly, repulsive curse. Second of all, to have been cursed meant that his level of cultivation wasn’t high enough, since his spiritual energy was too weak to be able to hold against the curse. This made it even more inconvenient to explain to others. And thus, Jin GuangShan was the only one to whom he told about the curse, pleading with Jin GuangShan to find him the medics and curse specialists. Yet, neither of the two were able to do anything.
Jin Ling’s full-month celebration just so happened to be near, to which Jin ZiXuan actually invited Wei WuXian. Jin GuangShan wasn’t too fond of this idea to begin with, and so he suggested that Jin ZiXun use this as an opportunity, killing Wei WuXian on his way to the banquet. This way, he wouldn’t have to come to Koi Tower either.
Wei WuXian was Jiang Yanli’s shidi, and the couple was quite affectionate toward each other. Jin ZiXuan told his wife everything, no matter what a trivial matter it was. A few people were worried that he might give the plan away, causing Wei WuXian not to come, and so they had been keeping Jin ZiXuan in the dark. This was indeed a bit unfair.
Seeing that everything had fallen through, Jin ZiXun couldn’t help but feel somewhat guilty. But, no matter what, his life was the most important, “ZiXuan, hide it from Sister-in-Law for now. I’ll give you two a formal apology after I get rid of these things on my body!”
The last time Wei WuXian saw Jin ZiXuan, he still had the youthful pride on him. Now that he was married, he seemed a lot more mature. His voice was steady as well, although his face had darkened, “It is still possible to turn things around. All of you, stop for the time being.”
Jin ZiXun was both angry and impatient, “What is there to turn around now that things are already like this? Haven’t you seen these things on me?!”
He seemed as if he wanted to lift his shirt again to reveal his chest full of holes. Jin ZiXuan quickly stopped him, “There’s no need! I’ve heard about it from Jin GuangYao already!”
Jin ZiXun, “Since you’ve heard it from him already, you should know that I can’t wait. Don’t tell me that you’ll disregard your brother’s life for the sake of Sister-in-Law’s shidi?!”
Jin ZiXuan, “You clearly know that I’m not that kind of person! He might not necessarily be the one who cursed you with Hundred Holes either. Why are you so rash? I was the one who invited Wei WuXian to A-Ling’s full-month celebration anyways. If this is the way you do things, where does that leave me? Where does it leave my wife?”
Jin ZiXun raised his voice, “It’s best if he doesn’t attend! What does Wei WuXian think he is—does he deserve to attend our sect’s banquet? Whoever touches him gets nothing but a splash of black! ZiXuan, when you invited him, weren’t you worried that you, Sister-in-Law and A-Ling would receive an irremovable stain for the rest of your lives?!”
Jin ZiXuan shouted, “Shut up right now!”
Deeply infuriated, Jin ZiXun clenched down. The wooden box that held the bell and the jade tassel was clenched into dust at once!
Wei WuXian watched the object break to pieces with his own eyes. Pupils shrinking fast, he lunged at Jin ZiXun. Jin ZiXuan, however, didn’t know what was inside the box yet. He raised his hand and blocked the attack, shouting, “Wei WuXian! Have you had enough yet?!”
Wei WuXian’s chest heaved up and down. His eyes were red. Jin ZiXuan and Jin ZiXun were cousins who had known each other well ever since they were young. With almost twenty years between them, at this point, it was indeed difficult for him to defend an outsider. And, in truth, he didn’t like Wei WuXian as a person either.
Collecting himself, he spoke, “Tell Wen Ning to stop first. Don’t let him continue his rampage and make the situation worse than it already is.”
Wei WuXian’s voice was coarse, “… Why don’t you make them stop first?”
Relentless shouts and roars came from all around them. Jin ZiXuan raged, “Why are you still so stubborn at such a time? When everyone calms down, you can follow me back to Koi Tower to explain things and answer some questions. With everything clear, if you aren’t the one who did it, of course you’ll be fine!”
Wei WuXian, “Tell him to stop? As soon as I tell Wen Ning to stop right now, the arrows would fly straight at my heart and I wouldn’t even die a whole corpse! And you think I could explain things at Koi Tower?”
Jin ZiXuan, “They would not!”
Wei WuXian laughed, “They would not? How can you ensure it? Jin ZiXuan, I have a question—when you invited me at first, did you really not know about their plan to kill me?!”
Jin ZiXuan paused for a second before he raged, “You! Wei WuXian, are… are you mad?!”
Wei WuXian was suppressing a blazing flame of hatred. His voice was cold, “Jin ZiXuan, move away right now. I won’t touch you, but you’re not going to provoke me either.”
Seeing that he still refused to yield, Jin ZiXuan suddenly lunged forward, as if trying to hold him down, “Why can’t you just back off for once?! A-Li is still…”
Just as he reached toward Wei WuXian, he heard a strange, heavy noise.
The noise was almost a bit too near. Jin ZiXuan paused in surprise. He looked down and finally saw the hand that pierced his chest.
Without anyone noticing, Wen Ning had already joined them. On half of his expressionless face was splattered a few searing, glaring drops of blood.
Jin ZiXuan’s lips moved. His expression was somewhat blank. Yet, still, he managed to continue the sentence that he couldn’t finish:
“… is still waiting for you to go to Koi Tower and attend A-Ling’s full-month celebration…”
The same blankness was on Wei WuXian’s face. In the short period of time, Wei WuXian hadn’t realized what happened yet.
What was happening?
Why did things become like this in just a few seconds?
It shouldn’t be.
Something must’ve went wrong somewhere.
Wen Ning took out the hand that he used to pierce through Jin ZiXuan’s chest, leaving behind a gaping hole.
Jin ZiXuan’s face twitched in pain, as though he felt that the wound wasn’t anything big, that he could still stand up. Yet, his legs finally gave out as he kneeled on the ground.
Screams of fear sounded from all around him.
“The… The Ghost General has gone mad!”
“He killed, he killed him. Wei WuXian made the Ghost General kill Jin ZiXuan!”
Jin ZiXun yelled, “Release! What are you waiting for?! Release the arrows!”
However, as he turned around, a black silhouette approached him with the stealth of the inhuman. He felt his throat tighten as a large, pale hand, lined with blue veins, clenched around his neck.
Wei WuXian stood helplessly where he was, unmoving.
That wasn’t it.
He was clearly controlling Wen Ning properly.
Even though he activated Wen Ning’s rampage mode, he should still be able to control him.
He’d clearly always been able to control him perfectly.
He didn’t want to kill Jin ZiXuan at all.
He never had the intention to kill Jin ZiXuan at all! It was just that moment. He didn’t know why, but all of a sudden he wasn’t able to control it… He had suddenly lost control!
Jin ZiXuan’s body finally couldn’t hold up any longer, leaning forward. With a slam, he collapsed on the ground.
He’d been arrogant and self-satisfied throughout his whole life, regarding with importance his appearance and mannerisms. He liked to be clean to the point that he was almost somewhat mysophobic. Right now, however, with the side of his face landing on the ground, he had fallen into the dirt in a most undignified way. The spots of blood on his face and the mark of vermilion between his brows were of the same color.
Staring at the light that slowly faded from his eyes, Wei WuXian’s mind was in complete shambles. Everything around him had become an ocean of blood and screams, but he couldn’t hear anything any longer.
The only thing he could hear was a voice inside him that questioned him over and over again:
Didn’t you say you know what you should and shouldn’t do?
Didn’t you say you could control it?
Didn’t you say that there couldn’t possibly be a problem, that nothing could possibly ever happen?!!
Wei WuXian’s head was blank. He didn’t know how long had passed when his eyes finally shot open again.
What he saw was the dark ceiling of the Demon-Slaughtering Cave.
Both Wen Qing and Wen Ning were inside.
Wen Ning’s pupils had fallen into the whites of his eyes again. He was already out of his rampage, appearing to be conversing with Wen Qing in a low voice. Seeing that Wei WuXian opened his eyes, he kneeled to the ground in silence. Wen Qing, on the other hand, said nothing with her red eyes.
Wei WuXian sat up.
After a while of silence, waves of hatred suddenly whirled within his heart.
He stepped onto Wen Ning’s chest, kicking him to the ground.
Wen Qing jolted. She clenched her hands, but still looked down, her mouth shut.
Wei WuXian roared, “Who did you kill? Do you know who you killed?!”
At this point, with a grass butterfly on his head, Wen Yuan ran in from outside, beaming, “Brother Xian…”
He was originally going to show Wei WuXian the butterfly that he painted in new colors. Yet, when he came in, he saw a demon that was Wei WuXian and Wen Ning curled up on the ground. At once, he was shocked speechless. Wei WuXian spun around. He hadn’t held back his emotions yet, his eyes almost frightening. Wen Yuan was so scared that his entire person jerked. The butterfly fell from on top of his head and onto the ground. He began to wail at once. Stooping, Uncle Four hurried in and carried him away.
After having been kicked over, Wen Ning climbed up again and kneeled down properly, saying nothing. Grabbing his collar, Wei WuXian lifted him up and shouted, “You could’ve killed anyone—why did you have to kill Jin ZiXuan?!”
Wen Qing watched from the side. She seemed as if she wanted to rush up and protect her brother, but forced herself to hold back. Tears of sorrow and fear rolled down her cheeks.
Wei WuXian, “With him dead, what is Shijie supposed to do? What is Shijie’s son supposed to do?! What am I supposed to do?! What about me?!”
His shouted echoed throughout the cave, spreading outside. Wen Yuan cried even more.
With the child’s cries coming to his ears from afar and the scared siblings who were at a complete loss as to what to do in his eyes, Wei WuXian felt his heart sink lower into darkness. He asked himself, Just why have I been locking myself up on Burial Mound all these years? Why do I have to go through all this? Why did I choose to walk this path in the beginning? Why did I make myself like this? What do others see me as? Just what have I gained? Have I gone mad? Have I gone mad? Have I gone mad?!
If only he didn’t choose this path in the beginning.
Suddenly, Wen Ning whispered, “… I’m… sorry.”
This was a corpse, expressionless, eyes unable to feel warmth, tears unable to fall. However, at this very moment, on the corpse’s face was genuine pain.
He repeated, “I’m sorry… I-It was all my fault… I’m sorry…”
Listening to him stutter as he apologized over and over again, all of a sudden, Wei WuXian felt extremely ridiculous.
It wasn’t Wen Ning’s fault at all.
It was his own fault.
When on a rampage, Wen Ning was nothing more than a weapon. The person who created the weapon was him. The things it listens to were his orders as well.
At that time, with all the tension and the killing intent on top of how Wei WuXian had never hesitated to show enmity toward Jin ZiXuan in front of Wen Ning, when he was unconscious, Wen Ning recognized Jin ZiXuan as an ‘enemy’ when he attacked, carrying out the order of ‘exterminate’ without a second thought.
He was the one who couldn’t control such a weapon. He was the one who grew to confident in his own abilities. He was also the one who ignored all of the ominous indications that had happened up to now, with the belief that he could suppress any loss of control.
Wen Ning was a weapon, but did he come to be a weapon out of his own will?
Could such a timid, stuttering person have been happy, killing all those people under Wei WuXian’s orders?
Back then, he received a bowl of lotus root soup that Jiang YanLi gave him. He took it all the way up Burial Mound, not letting a single drop spill. Although he himself couldn’t drink it, he watched someone else finish it with content, even asking what it tasted like as he tried to imagine it in his mind. Could he possibly be feeling anywhere near fine, having killed Jiang YanLi’s husband with his own hands?
He not only took all of the faults as his own, but was also apologizing to him.
Clenching Wen Ning’s collar, Wei WuXian looked at his pale, lifeless face. Before his eyes suddenly appeared Jin ZiXuan’s smeared face, covered in dirt and blood. They were the same paleness, the same lifelessness.
He also remembered Jiang YanLi, who finally married the person she loved after overcoming so many difficulties. He remembered the son of Jin ZiXuan and Jiang YanLi, A-Ling, the child who received his courtesy name from him. He was still so young. Just seven days after he was born, he knew to laugh whenever he saw his father’s sword. Both of his parents were ecstatic. His full-month celebration was just a few days later.
As he thought and thought about it, Wei WuXian suddenly broke into tears.
His voice was submerged in a deep helplessness, “… Can someone tell me… what I’m supposed to do now?”